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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
"Give Attendance to Reading"
"Till I come, give attendance to reading;" I Timothy 4:13
When Paul told Timothy to give attendance to reading, he was undoubtedly telling him to read the Old Testament Scriptures. He wanted young Timothy to be firmly grounded in the Scriptures so that he could preach to build others in the doctrines of Christ. Since Timothy did not have the New Testament to read from, he would have to give much attention to reading the Old Testament to preach Christ. Jesus upbraided the Pharisees by telling them to "search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" John 5:39. Jesus and Paul were demanding that others give time and effort to reading.
There is a great absence of reading today. For the most part, the Bible goes unread in most "Christian's" lives, and certainly good books are passed over for television, video games, movies and other types of entertainment. The danger in this is that reading is more effective in feeding our minds than any other form of information, and because of our lack of reading we are "dumbing down" as a culture. One wise man said, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
I am going to challenge our church to read during this summer. On those beautiful Mississippi evenings, a good book out on the porch beats a television show, video game or staring at a cell phone screen every time. We can help preserve the right culture if we follow several suggestions:
1. Read your Bible diligently and carefully every day. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2
2. Have a family Bible reading time where each member of the family reads a verse out loud until the chapter is complete.
3. Read a book to your children. (A chapter at bed time, and stop at a cliffhanger!)
4. Determine to read several books before the end of the summer.
Here is a list of books I suggest for your summer reading project:
The Shadow of the Broad Brim: The Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon Heir of the Puritans by Richard Ellsworth Day, The Judson Press, 1934. (Recently reprinted by Crown College Publications, Powell, TN)
All of Grace by C. H. Spurgeon, Moody Press (Try reading it in Spurgeon's Victorian/Puritan language.)
Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill
The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy both by A.W. Tozer
George Muller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson
David Brainerd, Beloved Yankee by David Wynbeek
The Real Billy Sunday by Elijah P. Brown (Grosset & Dunlap)
Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson
E. M. Bounds on Prayer by E. M. Bounds - If possible, get the original edition.
Prayer, Asking and Receiving by John R. Rice (Sword of the Lord Publishers)
Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough
Rhapsody in Black, The Life Story of John Jasper by Richard Ellsworth Day
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge
Kidnapped and Treasure Island both by Robert Louis Stevenson
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court all by Mark Twain
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Open Gate by Kate Seredy
The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn